December 10, 2010

My Favorite Maps and Christmas Lists

I am starting to consider my Christmas list, and it’s time to do some searching. Like many I am hunting around for ideas for others and looking for bargains. I am considering a Kindle for myself because of its limited- function free 3G wireless web browser and that book reading thing it does.

What’s in your ArcGIS for AutoCAD favorite’s maps list? In mine I have: Soils Maps, NGS Survey Control. Real-Time Traffic and Weather Maps, etc… Where did I find them? That is probably a more interesting question. Go to Search for content that contains Map Services. When I find a Web Map that might have a useful Map Service. I drill down into the table of contents of the webmap using the online map viewer and copy the shortcut to the included URL. I can drill into the table of contents and find a layer that is based on a map service and take a look at the details of the layer.

One of the items on the description page of an included map service detail will be the “supported interfaces”. If I right-click on the REST option and select the [copy shortcut] option I will get a URL to the rest endpoint. Some Web Maps containing map services might also include the server URL right on the description page without having to right click on the REST link.

For example the NGS Survey Control Map service has this URL shortcut associated with the REST link:

This is the complete address to the NGS survey control points map contained in this web map. To use this information in ArcGIS for AutoCAD I have to simplify the URL. I only need the link to the map server. The address from above needs to be edited to become simply:

Notice the URL is simplified and the REST directory reference is removed to use the URL in ArcGIS for AutoCAD. I will be asked in ArcGIS for AutoCAD to select from a list of all the maps that may be on this same server.

Access to other ArcGIS Online maps can be used in ArcGIS for AutoCAD entering this URL into the Server URL parameter of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD Add Maps function :

This USGS site includes lots of interesting map services including real-time weather (nhss_weat):

There are many more free maps available from Esri and other sources than the ones you see in the Esri Maps dialog box.

Try all of these URL’s by entering these strings into the Server URL option of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD Add Map Service dialog to see what interesting maps there are to use in ArcGIS for AutoCAD.

One more thing worth mentioning about the NGS control point map mentioned above is that when you use the IDENTIFY tool to get information about the control point in ArcGIS for AutoCAD one of the attributes of the control point is a web page URL to the current “data sheet” of that control point in addition to the other attributes of the control point.

Happy maps and Merry Christmas.


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